Thursday, April 09, 2020

Vegan "Buttery" Hamburger Buns

We normally use those flatter, wholewheat hamburger buns because the store bought ones are too 'heavy'.  Stuck in the house and wanting what they want, they asked for 'real' buns.  Well, this is a new world for whismical asks during #COVID isolation.  I'm not about to pop out to the shops for hamburger buns, am I?  Here is a very easy recipe that can be done with the kids in between calls and online classes.
Vegan Hamburger Buns Eggless
VEGAN 'Buttery' Hamburger Buns

Stage 1
1/4 c warm Soy Milk (or just Water)
1/2 c warm Water
1 T Sugar
2 t Yeast (alot of recipes show upto a T but that's just crazy talk during these times)

Stage 2
2 c Bread Flour (or 2 c All Purpose Flour, less 2 t and add 2 t Vital Wheat Gluten)
2 T Vegan Butter or Margarine (e.g., Melt or Olive Oil), at room temperature
1 t Salt

As needed
1t Oil for lubrication
1 T Cornmeal, for dusting
1/2 T Sesame Seeds, raw preferably
1 T Soy Milk or other plant Milk

In your stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl, add the Water, Milk, Sugar and dissolve the Sugar briefly.  Sprinkle the Yeast over and let sit for 10 minutes.  Longer doesn't hurt.

Add the dough hook to your stand mixer.  Add the 'Butter', Flour and Salt and mix on lowest speed until all the flour is moistened before turning up faster or you'll have a flour explosion.  Knead on 2-4 for upto 15-20 minutes.  Add a teaspoon of water at a time if after 10 minutes, the mixture still looks raggedy and isn't coming together in a ball.  The moisture level of this recipe is lower than my Sourdough and is alot stiffer.  And let it run for a good 3 minutes before adding more water.  Depending on how 'dry' your flour is, you may have to add more.  But try not to add more than a couple of tablespoons (8 teaspoons), just be patient.  It will come together. 

Pick up the dough and form in to a rough ball.  I do this in the air so I don't have to mess up a surface unnecessarily and just keep turning the ball in on itself from underneath so the top looks like a smooth ball.  While holding the ball, put a few drops of oil in the stand mixer bowl.  Take the dough ball and swirl the ball around, then flip it over so the top oily face is up.  Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let stand for 3-5 hours.

Deflate the dough but resist the temptation to start kneading.  If you wake up the dough too fast, forming the Buns will be difficult and very difficult for the kids.    If you're an engineer like me, you'll want to be precise.  Weigh the dough balls and divide by 4, 5 or 6.  We did 5 because I wanted medium sized buns.  If you don't have a scale, get a scale.  Baking is alot easier with a scale :D.  But if you don't want a scale, just roughly divide with a pastry cutter or knife.  Again, resist the urge to try to form just yet. 

This is where the kids can really get involved.  They did help me measure all the stuff at the beginning too but he got bored watching the dough being kneaded ;D.  We did 3 options. 

1.  Form in to simple balls.  Push out the ball with the heel of your hand then fold toward you.  Turn and repeat a few times with the folds always on the same plane so the side on the board remains 'smooth'.  Pick up and pinch in your hand like you're doing an "okay" sign and squeezing the head of the bun out.  Pinch the bottom and set on your baking mat with a bit of sprinking of Cornmeal.
2. Simple knot.  Push out the ball with the heel of your hand but elongating as you do to about 6 inches and then starting rolling like a rolling pin/cigar.  Form into a simple loose knot and form in your hands into a round almost rose shape. 
3. Kaiser 'flower', which I love for texture.  Start as the same as the knot but longer, maybe 8 inches.  Knot put pull closed this time.  You will have a knot with two long arms.  Tuck one arm into the centre of the top and the other into the centre of the bottom.  I followed a video just for the knot. 
4. Bagel, no, bun, no Bao, ... my daughter just played with her roll for a while which made working it super hard later :D  she then decided she wanted a bagel, which looked good but then she closed it thinking a Bao would be cuter... and on and on...

Place them all on a puddle of Cornmeal.  Take a mere teaspoon of oil in a small bowl and let the kids dip their fingers in and gently cover the buns with Oil to keep from drying and sticking to the cover.  Cover very loosely with plastic/cling wrap and set aside.  I put it in the oven with no heat.  Let rise for 2-3 hours.  Keep the bowl with the remaining oil because I hate to waste.

Take the buns out.  Preheat the oven to 425F.  A convect will adjust to 400F.  Put a rack in the middle and another rack on the bottom with a heavy duty sheet pan on the bottom.  This is for steaming water.  I would therefore not use a flimsy aluminum one or a teflon one if it will sit empty in a hot oven.  Use the roasting pans that ovens often come with. 

Meanwhile, in the bowl with the leftover oil, add the Soy Milk.  Use a brush or your fingers and liberally brush the buns VERY GENTLY so as not to deflate the buns.  Sprinkle Sesame Seeds over the top.  Use raw because roasted may burn.  Also generally speaking, you should keep your Sesame Seeds raw until you need to use them.  My mom, Korean, bulk roasts them but she uses them in bulk.  Also after roasting, keep them in the fridge. 

Open the heated oven and pour 2 cups of water in the pan on the bottom.  Slide in the buns. Bake for 20-25 minutes but mid way, rotate if you want. 

The result was suprisingly buttery and dense without being too heavy.  Not too crusty so as to cut up your mouth. 

Vegan Triple Decker with Homemade Hamburger Buns

#Isolationbaking #Bakingwithkids #bread #bakingbread